Phil Mickelson for the first time since 1994 won’t be at Augusta National Golf Club for the Masters.
Augusta National confirmed this week that the 51-year-old will not compete April 7-10 at the 2022 Masters. Mickelson won the green jacket in 2004, 2006, and 2010. He exited public life last month amid a highly publicized scandal regarding his criticism of the PGA Tour.
Lefty’s absence will be felt at US sportsbooks. Oddsmakers reported substantial Masters action on Mickelson, despite long odds that he would even tee it up.
Mickelson played in three PGA Tour events in 2022 before his public withdrawal. After a T30 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in early January, Mickelson missed the cut at The American Express and Farmers Insurance Open. He was a combined 10 over par in those two tournaments.
Despite his lackluster play, Mickelson’s seemingly unending heroics at Augusta National prompted many sports bettors to lay down action on the three-time Masters champ.
BetMGM told Casino.org this week that Mickelson was responsible for 1.4% of both its tickets and overall money bet for the 2022 Masters. Only 19 players present more liability for BetMGM among the entire field, which varies by year, but will be roughly 90 players, give or take a few.
With Mickelson staying away from Augusta National this year, all bets on him winning a fourth green jacket next month are voided. That, of course, isn’t ideal for sportsbooks like BetMGM, which were gladly taking money on Mickelson winning golf’s first major of the year. BetMGM had Mickelson at 125/1 — or implied odds of 0.79 percent — before his withdrawal.
It’s unclear whether Mickelson is suspended from the PGA Tour, as the organization is tight-lipped on disciplinary matters. Augusta National is even more secretive with its inner workings. But the tournament reclassified Mickelson on its 2022 field list from “Invitees” to “Past Champions Not Playing.”
Mickelson, nor the Masters, made any official comment on his forthcoming absence.
Woods Unlikely, Too
In what’s a nearly worst-case scenario, the 2022 Masters will likely be without the biggest name in the sport for a second consecutive year. Though Tiger Woods has not yet publicly confirmed that he will not compete in the Masters, all signs suggest he will not.
Woods’ absence would be an even bigger blow to oddsmakers. BetMGM says Tiger is responsible for more than 2.1% of its 2022 Masters tickets and wagers. Woods, a five-time Masters winner, remains recovering from severe injuries he sustained in his SUV accident in February of 2021 that nearly took his life.
Though the absences of Woods and Mickelson cannot be overstated, there will still be plenty of star power making the trek around Augusta National and Amen Corner. World No. 1 Jon Rahm is the betting front-runner at 9/1. World No. 2 Collin Morikawa is next at 12/1.
BetMGM says Morikawa currently presents its biggest Masters liability. The two-time major champion (’20 PGA Championship, ’21 Open Championship) is on nearly 7% of BetMGM’s Masters tickets.
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